2018 was a very important year for me, and also the most difficult one up to that point. The year saw me start to gather the courage to create and share my work. In this year’s posts are essays from my community college courses, my first album of recorded songs (most of which I wrote in Oregon the year before), some fiction writing, a six-interview project I put together, updates on my life, a music review, and a few other things. In this year, the site morphs from a sort of public documentary of my life in photos into a place where I let others into what I was thinking about and working on.

  • Watermen
    In a rather unmemorable scene of a fairly unremarkable movie called “Chasing Mavericks”, Frosty tells the young man he is training to surf about watermen. These surfers, he says, are deeply acquainted with the ocean; they know that when a wave comes at them they will be able to make something happen. It’s as ifContinue reading “Watermen”
  • Rambling Anthems
    you can listen to the full album here: https://wordpress.com/post/javenbear.com/3276 I write stuff – sometimes even when people aren’t holding guns to my head. I want to make sure to give a clear description: if you give me $5, I’ll give you a copy of a collection of demos I made called “Rambling Anthems”. I wrote mostContinue reading “Rambling Anthems”
  • The Girl From the Purple Hotel
    I don’t write very many stories. But the other day I was riding down the rode and thought of this one. So here it is, a long rambling parable about what I’m not entirely sure. 1/18/18 10:24 p.m. Westminster, SC “Jesus spoke all these things to the crowds in parables. He did not tell themContinue reading “The Girl From the Purple Hotel”
  • Today I Met a Professional
    Two days ago I got a $50 parking ticket at school for backing into a space instead of pulling in. When you only work two days a week at a job that doesn’t pay very much, $50 is enough to make you write angry emails and vent to your mother. Today as I was packingContinue reading “Today I Met a Professional”
  • Unnecessary.
    This morning I left my Music Appreciation class 10 minutes early so I could be on time for a short meeting with my English teacher across campus. Dear Ms. Skaar gave me an absence for those ten minutes I wasn’t present. Bless her. 5 minutes later I flopped my 10 page rough draft down onContinue reading “Unnecessary.”
  • “My Dear People” a project.
    I’m ankle deep into a project that I’m really excited about.  I think it came from listening to Andrew Osenga’s podcast, “The Pivot”. Here’s the skinny: I’m going to sit down behind a microphone with six of my friends (and then myself), ranging in age from about 20 to 70, and have a conversation. ItContinue reading ““My Dear People” a project.”
  • Seven Wonders of Ancient Ideology
    I’ve been listening to Stephen West’s podcast Philosophize This! some lately. In Western Civilization 101 we were tasked with writing a seven ish page essay describing our own picks for the seven wonders of the ancient world. I decided to pick seven important philosophers. *Pro tip: use block quotes. (photo by David Krabill) *Pick 7 wondersContinue reading “Seven Wonders of Ancient Ideology”
  • “If It’s Broke, Fix it” – a story for you.
    This past weekend I went in the company of three good friends to see our buddy Gabe at bible school in Pennsylvania (SMBI). Right after we turned out the lounge room lights on the second night of our stay, someone mentioned Olan Rodgers. And soon thereafter his face was on a smartphone screen telling usContinue reading ““If It’s Broke, Fix it” – a story for you.”
  • The Oil Rigs
    *cover photo is not my own. Yesterday in English class our teacher asked us to think of a movie that we watched as a child and then re-watched later and interpreted differently. And no, she said, I don’t mean that you just watched it again and got all the jokes that went over your head.Continue reading “The Oil Rigs”
  • Spanish Class
    The evolution of the internet is truly an incredible thing. For the past several weeks my friend Taylor and I have been working on a little project together. We were able to send ideas, lyrics, and bits of recording back and forth until finally we arrived at a finished song. Not tremendous, but finished. AndContinue reading “Spanish Class”
  • Springtime
    Part 1: A few months ago I got the idea that I needed a work desk, a better one. I have a desk in my room, but it’s the one that Dad had at his mini-barn office…and my knees are always hitting the top…and it’s pretty ugly. So I decided I’d make a better one.Continue reading “Springtime”
    CRAZYTALK – Mat Kearney When Mat Kearney gave us his fifth album, JUST KIDS, in February of 2015, it surprised me. I distinctly remember listening through the whole album on a long ride home from Pennsylvania in March. The sounds on that album were starkly different than what I was used to hearing from himContinue reading “CRAZYTALK”
  • Monday
    Over the past several weeks I’ve been interviewing friends and talking with them about all kinds of different stuff. It’s been really fun…and I’ve been learning my way around Audacity. It started as an idea I had one night while trying to go to sleep. I hope you enjoy today’s edition, Welcome to Monday. TodayContinue reading “Monday”
  • Tuesday
    Welcome to Tuesday, Tonight I had a conversation with my friend Emily Smucker beside a drum set in a Missouri basement. Emily lives in Oregon, so most of the time she is about as far away from my interviewing apparatus as one can be. But on this weekend we met in the middle for theContinue reading “Tuesday”
  • Wednesday
    Humpday! Today my good buddy Andrew Hollinger and I sit down and talk about Parkinson’s Law, rites of passage, and Earnest Shackleton. You’ll learn about why it is that you never seem to do your homework and why adolescence seems to stretch on and on in America. This was a really fun conversation. Today we’reContinue reading “Wednesday”
  • Thursday
    Today Lavon Bacher and I talk about mission trips, learning from other cultures, and what it means to be faithful to your own community. Lavon is a family man, small business owner (Swing-O-Things), school board chairman, and a hockey fan. He’s the kind of guy you want in your circles. We held this conversation outsideContinue reading “Thursday”
  • Friday
    My friends, it’s Friday. Look how far we’ve come. Today my friend Trina Beachy and I drink French press coffee and ponder why it’s important that we read books. We also talk about The Hiding Place, The Lord of the Flies, and other cool stuff. Today we’re giving away All Over but the Shoutin’ – Rick Bragg as wellContinue reading “Friday”
  • Saturday
    Today I sit down with my grandpa and grandma and ask them what it was like starting a community almost forty years ago. These two people are definitely heroes of mine. And, odds are, if you live in Oconee County, it’s due in part to them. Today we’re giving away That Printer of Udells – HaroldContinue reading “Saturday”
  • Spin Us Round
    “Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot youContinue reading “Spin Us Round”
  • Concerning Hobbits and Presidents
    Several weeks ago one of my friends, who recently taught a short period of high school literature, said she was going do the essay she’d assigned her students and asked if I’d do it too. This is what came of that. And below is a political cartoon I sketched today. 6/28/18 Three Things Concerning HobbitsContinue reading “Concerning Hobbits and Presidents”
  • This too Is America
    “But if you want to know what I don’t think, I’ll tell you. I don’t think what you think. I don’t think, and I never shall think, that the mass of ordinary men are a pack of dirty modern thinkers. No, sir… I may be mad, but humanity isn’t.” – Dr. Bull (The Man WhoContinue reading “This too Is America”
  • Run
    It was about a year ago that three of us young dudes headed west. We had bought and prepared a 1997 Dodge Wagon, a beast of a carriage. It was hideous, so we painted flames and flowers and ‘carpe diem‘ on it. It was un-homely, so we built beds in the back and threw downContinue reading “Run”
  • 130 Reasons to Ride with Me
    About a week ago Luke and one of his friends decided to make a list of their top 100 songs. I thought I’d do the same…and then didn’t have the heart to round out the last few dozen. So…130. It’s in the Rolling Stone’s top 500 format, sectioned off and ascending (the best are atContinue reading “130 Reasons to Ride with Me”
  • For the Sleeper
    This is a song about traveling the world. It was about 3 months between the time I started writing and when I finished recording. cheers. For the Sleeper Goodnight sleeper when you sleep, I’ll be standing guard in the streets, Over everything, and everyone, Goodnight sleeper when you wake, I’ll have been around the world,Continue reading “For the Sleeper”
  • Sights and Sounds of Summer
    As of this morning at about nine o’clock when I walked up the giant hill into the doors of Oconee Hall at Tri-County, summer is over. These are the (more notable) things I watched, read, and listened to all summer long. I’d love to know what you picked up and why I should see/read itContinue reading “Sights and Sounds of Summer”
  • The Handmaid’s Tale: A Book Review
    This is an essay I wrote in Ms. Blank’s English 102 last semester on a book assigned to the class: The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale: A Dysfunctional Dystopia (3/29/18) Margaret Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale with considerably limiting self-imposed constraints in place. In the book’s introduction, she says she feared that the story would have aContinue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale: A Book Review”
  • Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Loose Change: the Essential Resources
    In sociology we’re studying why some people groups are still sticking animals (and each other) with spears while others are putting men on the moon. One theory goes that it has absolutely everything to do with geographic blessedness. Simply, if you live in a place where you can grow and store crops, domesticate animals, andContinue reading “Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Loose Change: the Essential Resources”
  • Huck Finn – Just as They Come
    I’ve been reading Huck Finn for English 202, and it’s a wonderful story, at least until Tom Sawyer gets involved. He’s aggravating and really drug the thing on longer than necessary. But since I’ve been reading a story through Huck’s voice and thought processes, I notice that I seem to think to myself sometimes withContinue reading “Huck Finn – Just as They Come”
  • When the Man Comes Around
    Written in blue ink: 9/3/18 Revised: 9/23/18 I’ve had the tale of Revelations, and Johnny Cash’s song, in my mind lately. Cash says it like this: Whoever is unjust – let him be unjust still, Whoever is righteous – let him be righteous still, Whoever is filthy – let him be filthy still, Listen toContinue reading “When the Man Comes Around”
  • Concerning Idols
    This is a paper written for my Sociology 101 class after reading Francis Bacon’s essay The Four Idols. Bacon was a philosopher from the 16th century who became frustrated with the science of his day: namely how deduction was no longer contributing to anything new or interesting. My paper is a summary and conclusion concerning theContinue reading “Concerning Idols”
  • Title
    “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics, philosophy, and commerce in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, and music” – John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780. — There is hardly anything I like more than music, That’s why it’sContinue reading “Title”
  • The Philosopher King
    This is an essay I wrote for philosophy class. We’ve just finished reading Plato’s Republic, which is basically Socrates and friends sitting around trying to figure out what justice looks like. It’s crazy to think that colleges are still teaching a book written before Christ was born – we’re talking 2300 hundred years ago. That’s aContinue reading “The Philosopher King”
  • concerning dreams
    10/17/18 11:11 p.m. It’s 11:11 and I can write anything I like – I can wish upon the stars that whirl above October. They always ask us what we could be if we could be anything we like. Well that’s kind of hard I think. But if you say it like this, like, “What wouldContinue reading “concerning dreams”
  • An Ode to the Unspoken Arts
    There is such a great ruckus made about “the arts”, that celebrated pursuit of beauty. And rightly so. In another year I’ll have an associate’s degree in arts, whatever that means. There is music, dancing, poetry, painting, filming, flailing…and a million more. But I have uncovered some others too. Lesser known, but quite useful andContinue reading “An Ode to the Unspoken Arts”
  • Colin Kaepernick’s Protest (an essay)
    The following paper represents many hours me being hunched over a table, squinting at a screen, books and papers splayed about – writing, reading, and re-writing. It was assigned as a paper about a current ‘social problem’ in society. In the process of writing, I read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.Continue reading “Colin Kaepernick’s Protest (an essay)”
  • the sun comes up
    I try to stay writing. And it’s funny how what I write goes in cycles. For a long time, I’ve had a general goal of writing at least one song every month. Some months I’ve written many more…and some none at all. Recently, I’ve been missing the mark. I haven’t felt much like writing songs,Continue reading “the sun comes up”
  • descending from the city on a hill
    This video depicts a Wednesday at Tri-County. As of Tuesday a week a ago, I have given my last presentation at Tri-County Technical. I have climbed and descended those great flights of steps for the last time. Tri-County is something of a city on a hill. I’ve told friends that if disaster strikes, that’s whereContinue reading “descending from the city on a hill”

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